Sorry about the lack of edition last week, but not to worry as I’ve got an extra long edition this week with a lot of stuff to get to, so let’s get to the review of this past Wednesday’s PPV.
After the disappointing surprise antagonists to Jeff Jarrett that Jimmy Hart brought back last week, Rick Steiner and the horrible Jim Duggan, the point of this show was to bring Sting back to face Jarrett. Since the gods have given TNA more time to build up to an eventual PPV with Jarrett/Hogan, which will be January and now I am hearing dates in early February (I’m expecting a new date announcement by as early as next week’s edition of this report), that also means several additional months to keep Jarrett a solid heel. And keep in mind that Jarrett is historically mediocre and the fans saw right through him twice as a face during that length title run of his.
Somehow, however, they’ve managed to put themselves in the same place they were before with Jarrett, especially now since he is champion. Jarrett is dealing with way too many people: AJ Styles, Sting, Rhodes, Hogan, Rhodes, Raven, or whomever.
They held a X-Division battle royal for the number one contendership to that title with Sonjay Dutt, Chad Collyer (who looks to be in line for a push), Low Ki, Jonny Storm, Christopher Daniels, Shark Boy, Chris Sabin, and whoever The Masked X is (250 pounds). This was entirely useless, as it was just X killing everyone, no selling, and making everyone else look stupid. That’s WCW style bad booking. Earlier in the night, AJ Styles specifically said that he didn’t want to be in the X-Division at this point “because they didn’t need him anymore” not because it was less than. I thought that was great. Strictly because of their structure, TNA should make their heavyweight titles, X-Division titles, and tag titles equal in value so they don’t have to rely on one thing for all of their big shows. Then they bring X in and he kills off the entire division in one fell swoop.
The tag title has a lot of people wanting it, so there’s going to be a #1 contender’s match next week, and in two weeks Diamond & Swinger will defend the titles.
Raven disbanded his Gathering, Julio Dinero and CM Punk, on the show and Punk/Raven seems to be the eventual destination of that. Punk/Raven has done very well in other promotions and the two are very talented and had great chemistry playing off of each other. Plus, CM Punk has been underwhelming in his current position. This could certainly be the opportunity to change that and give someone a new push at the same time. Later in the night, Raven got to take out all his remaining aggression on Jim Mitchell as he hung him and Mitchell juiced.
Mike Lockwood, who played Mad Mikey in TNA and in wrestling promotions across the country, and most famously known as Crash Holly, passed away this past week. He was 34.
There is a lot of speculation up to this point as to why. But don’t expect there to be an answer soon at all. He was found in the Florida apartment that he shares with Steven Richards.
I’m heartbroken about how this could happen again and how another victim could be claimed. As more information becomes available, I hope to address it in coming columns on this website. Isn’t it obvious at this point that something is wrong? Isn’t it obvious that this has to end? Isn’t it obvious that there is a point where coincidence ends and real causes and real effects are the only coincidence? Wake up.
Jeremy Borash: The passing of Mike Lockwood is a very sad situation, and I’m not sure there is much more I want to say at this time.
TNA: TNA Entertainment is deeply saddened to report that Michael Lockwood, also known as Mad Mikey and Crash Holly, passed away on Thursday. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mikey’s family and friends during this difficult time.
WWE: World Wrestling Entertainment is saddened by the loss of Michael Lockwood, known professionally as Crash Holly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Michael’s friends and family.
From the TNA website, dated November 7, 2003:
A Message From TNA President Dixie Carter Regarding Lex Luger
It is rare that TNA ever responds to media, no matter how off it may be from fact. But we strongly believe it is appropriate at this time to address what is being said about Lex Luger appearing on our November 12th pay-per-view telecast.
TNA is about opportunity — for wrestlers new and established. For the fans, TNA provides a weekly program that showcases today’s hottest talent, introduces the stars of tomorrow, and provides the opportunity to re-experience wrestling icons. Since its inception, TNA has paid homage to NWA legends who have laid the foundation for our company.
As far as TNA talent is considered, we could not be more proud of our entire roster who give their heart and soul week after week to build this special group. We believe in being compassionate and giving guys a chance. From new, incredibly talented young men to veterans who may need lifting up when trying to change their lives. Surrounding a man with the kind of environment we enjoy backstage at TNA can only be considered a very good thing. We are about accentuating the positive, not the negative.
When our talent approaches management and recommends giving someone an opportunity, we listen, and that is the case with Lex Luger, as well as others. The success of bringing Lex to TNA won’t be measured with pay-per-view buys. It will be measured by what a man does with an opportunity given.
As a company, if any talent becomes a negative force in the locker room, then they are no longer welcome to be part of our team, and that has been proven on occasion and will continue to be our manner of operation.
The Ultimate X Match, Raven’s Clockwork Orange House of Fun and the current X Triple Chance Tournament are the kinds of things created to generate buzz and increase buys for TNA — because it’s outstanding wrestling in a unique format. But to take advantage of a difficult point in someone’s life is not the practice of our company. Our philosophy may be uncommon in the wrestling business, but our goal is to be a different kind of company, inside the ring and out.
There was some degree of controversy this past week with the announcement that TNA would be bringing in Lex Luger, who faces indictment for possession of any number of drugs in his home, as well as being with Elizabeth Hulette at the time of her death this year. Jeremy Borash said this:
The Lex Luger announcement certainly seemed to catch quite a few people off guard. Anyone who suggests that we are bringing him in for any other reason than to compete in this tag team match is simply incorrect. His name had been kicked around long before the unfortunate events of this year had taken place. The deal was done just minutes before going live on Wednesday night. People obviously want to see him, as our advance ticket sales have dramatically increased going into this event.
It’s certainly a huge cop-out to say that any moral dilemma that surfaces in this situation is voided simply by the fact that perhaps 100 additional people decided to buy tickets to TNA this coming week. The intrigue level is certainly going to be there, after all, it is Lex Luger, whose past inside the wrestling business was already something quite odd, but then after the events that took place in his personal life this year, is also something that adds to his immediate value (the shock factor). But to say that people are genuinely interested in him, and then one step further to say that negates any argument against the use of him, is the same argument that WWE used internally in response to fire in house about the Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo wedding ceremony, as well as the Katie Vick necrophilia angle, or even less insulting bad decisions like Gowen/McMahon. All of the above led to an immediate surge in ratings, but in terms of long-term ratings and buys, they suffered greatly. Because, as Wade Keller puts it, “after the shock wears off, you’re left with Lex Luger.”
In terms of the moral issue, I don’t hate TNA for bringing Lex Luger in, but it is far from appropriate. It is very low class to bring someone in with Luger’s well-documented personal problems, as recently as the drug find and controversial Hulette death as recently as six months ago. But they will, and in a capacity that we will have to find out together. The match is Jeff Jarrett and Luger against AJ Styles and Sting.
News: There was a situation this past week that has drawn a lot of criticism within the wrestling community. Teddy Hart, a part of a multiple-tag team match, decided to not sell a loss in a Ring of Honor match and proceeded to do several unplanned flips and dives and then throw up in the ring. Hart, who is only 23, responded to criticism at the show with attitude and narrowly averted being attacked by the locker room. ROH promoter Gabe Sapolsky says they have no plans to use him further. In an apology released several days later, Hart apologized, saying that he had a concussion (which is doubtful, according to some who were there) and did not recall the events that took place. Hart has appeared on a TNA broadcast once, making it to the semi-finals in an X-Division trophy cup tournament earlier this year, where he was guilty of so much show boating that his matches were spliced greatly. He is the grandson of the late Stu Hart… TNA posted a news update on their website saying that Hogan’s “orthoscopic” knee surgery went well. Apparently it happened on 10/30 in Hogan’s home town of Tampa. “Hogan also reported to Hart,” the report states, “that he is already feeling the positive effects of the surgery and that the rehabilitation and recovery process is going according to schedule.” A follow-up meeting with the doctor was scheduled for this past Thursday… Sting had a four-date contract with TNA and he worked the 1-year anniversary show, this past week’s show, and will work the upcoming show, leaving one remaining date, which should be exercised for the PPV if they are smart because I can’t see him resigning… In addition to his role as an agent, Scott D’Amore has a hand in writing the script for the Wednesday shows… Starting in Januaray, TNA is offering all of their PPVs for $34.95. If you watch TNA every week, that is huge because you can save money on those months when there are more than four Wednesdays. Not sure if this includes the huge PPVs, but it probably won’t… Low Ki is back for a few weeks before he returns to Japan. He faces Christopher Daniels on PPV Wednesday… Borash says that “(t)he women of TNA will be shooting a swimsuit calendar next week. Our cameras will be rolling as well.”… They are going to be announcing a streaming internet plan for TNA PPVs soon…
Matchmaker: Trevor Hunnicutt
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